Sudanese protesters write graffiti on a billboard during a demonstration against the military council in Khartoum. Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Sudan’s capital and elsewhere in the country calling for civilian rule nearly three months after the army forced out long-ruling autocrat Omar al-Bashir. Picture: Hussein Malla/AP
Africa / 2 July 2019, 08:15am / FAY ABUELGASIM and SAMY MAGDY
Khartoum — At least 11 people were killed in clashes with Sudan’s security forces during mass demonstrations demanding a transition to civilian rule, Sudanese activists said Monday.
Tens of thousands of people flooded the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and other areas Sunday in the biggest protests since security forces cleared a sit-in last month. They called for the military to hand over power to civilians following the coup that ousted longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in April.
Nazim Sirraj, a prominent activist, told The Associated Press on Monday that three bodies were found next to a school in Omdurman, the twin city of Khartoum. The three were shot dead in an area where security forces had barred protesters from marching toward a hospital and had fired tear gas to disperse them, he said. One wounded person died on the way to the hospital in Khartoum, he added.
Sirraj said the total death toll was 11, including one killed in the city of Atbara, a railway hub north of Khartoum and the birthplace of the December uprising that eventually led to al-Bashir’s ouster.
The Sudan Doctors Committee, the medical arm of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which has spearheaded the demonstrations, confirmed the death toll.
Sudan’s security forces have fired tear gas to disperse protesters demanding an end to military rule.
One protester was also reportedly killed as tens of thousands rallied across Sudan to push the junta to hand power to a civilian-led administration.
The protests are the biggest since dozens were killed in a crackdown on pro-democracy activists on 3 June.
Sudan has been in turmoil since the military ousted President Omar al-Bashir in April.
It followed a popular uprising against his rule. Mr Bashir seized power in a coup on 30 June 1989.
According to the Rapid Support Force (RSF) commander, snipers shot at least five civilians and three members of a parliamentary force during Sunday’s protest.
Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo said: “There are snipers who are firing on people, they shot three members of the Rapid Support Force and five or six citizens. There are infiltrators, people who want to jeopardise progress.”
He did not confirm if there were any deaths.
Protesters defied the heavy presence of troops, including the feared RSF, to take part in what organisers had billed a “million-strong” march.
“We are here for the martyrs of the [June 3] sit-in. We want a civilian state that guarantees our freedom. We want to get rid of military dictatorship,” a 23-year-old protester named only as Zeinab told AFP news agency.
Security forces fired tear gas to disperse demonstrators near the presidential palace and three other districts in the capital, Khartoum, AFP reports.
Tear gas was also fired in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman and the eastern town of Gadaref.
In Atbara city in the north-east, a young protester died of a bullet wound to the chest, the pro-opposition Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said.
See also a video on the peaceful protests in the link below:
Demonstrations in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum (AP) Khartoum – Ahmed Younis
The Sudanese Transitional Military Council (TMC) said it does not mind sharing the sovereign council equally with the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change.
Council Member Yasser al-Atta said in a press statement on Tuesday that the military has informed US envoy Donald Booth of its rejection of calls for the Freedom and Change forces to control the legislative council, and their acceptance to equally share the “sovereign council”.
The US presidential envoy to Sudan held talks on Tuesday with the head of the TMC, Abdul Fattah Burhan.
Addressing reporters in Khartoum, Booth said his consultations with the parties were aimed at encouraging them to resume direct negotiations. He told the president and members of the military council that the safety of the people of Sudan “was above all.” He asked the council not to hold elections within a year, in order to ensure a democratic transition in the country.
Meanwhile, Khartoum and other Sudanese cities witnessed a number of student and labour demonstrations, demanding the “military” to hand over power to a civilian government.
In parallel, dozens of supporters of the TMC staged a demonstration in front of the Ethiopian embassy in Khartoum, to declare their rejection of the Ethiopian mediation, after accusing Addis Ababa of interfering in Sudanese affairs.
Ethiopia has proposed a plan to resolve the Sudanese crisis and bring the parties back to the negotiating table in order to discuss the transition to a civilian government and the signing of a declaration of principles.
The African country led diplomatic efforts after a deadly crackdown by security forces killed at least 128 people across the country earlier this month, according to protest organizers. Sudanese authorities offered a lower toll of 61 deaths.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudanese security forces used violence to break up a protest in Khartoum on Monday by dozens of students demanding that the military council which ousted former president Omar al-Bashir hands over power to civilians.
The demonstrators chanted “civilian, civilian” as they gathered in front of the National Ribat University in Burri neighborhood near the ministry of defense, but security forces quickly chased them and beat them with batons, a Reuters witness said.
A few protests have taken place at night in Khartoum and other state capitals since security forces stormed a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry on June 3, killing dozens. But Monday’s was the first demonstration in Khartoum to be held during the day.
Talks between the military and an opposition alliance collapsed after the sit-in was dispersed.
The sides had been wrangling for weeks over whether civilians or the military would control a new sovereign council to lead Sudan to elections after the military deposed and detained long-time president Bashir on April 11.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the African Union (AU) have been trying to mediate between the sides.
The council on Sunday rejected Ethiopia’s proposal which the opposition coalition agreed to on Saturday, but did agree in principle to the AU’s plan.
The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, the country’s main protest group, said in a news conference on Monday that the military council is “systematically trying to undermine the gains of the revolution by destroying freedom of expression and violently dispersing the protests they call for”.
The group also said it will continue escalating protests and that it is organizing a big demonstration on June 30.
The prolonged chaos has concerned world powers including the United States, which sanctioned Sudan under Bashir over its alleged support for militant groups and the civil war in Darfur.
The opposition accused the military council of ordering the sit-in’s bloody dispersal and wants an international inquiry. Witnesses said the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, headed by the military council’s deputy, carried out the violence.
The military said a crackdown on criminals spilled over to the sit-in area, but some officers have been detained for presumed responsibility
The warlord wrecking Sudan’s revolution – The Washington Post
For the first time since April, Sudan’s ousted strongman, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, made a public appearance. On Sunday, the former dictator emerged from prison clad in his trademark white robes and was taken by police to court, where he faced corruption-related charges, including embezzlement and the possession of foreign currency. But glaringly absent from the allegations were the far worse crimes associated with Bashir’s three-decade rule. Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide charges related to his regime’s vicious counterinsurgency more than a decade ago in the Darfur region.
That veneer of accountability sums up the grim state of Sudan’s fragile political moment. Bashir was brought down in April after protesters took to the streets for months, clamoring for his exit and a transition to a civilian government in the country. Their pressure compelled Bashir’s former allies in Sudan’s security apparatus to remove him from power. But in the weeks since, the junta that replaced Bashir has cracked down on the protest movement and political opposition with brutality reminiscent of the horrors unleashed in Darfur, where government-backed militias carried out hideous slaughters of predominantly non-Arab communities between 2003 and 2008.
On June 3, soldiers from the Rapid Support Forces, or the RSF, a notorious paramilitary group, attacked protesters in Khartoum, ransacking a central site that the pro-democracy movement had occupied for months. At least 128 were killed, according to the main protest organization. Reports continue to surface of militia forces dumping bodies in the Nile, while subjecting protesters to rape, beatings and other acts of torture. A nationwide clampdown on the Internet followed, shutting off many of the avenues the opposition had to share information with each other and the outside world.
“Now that the sit-in site . . . is in ashes, there is an overwhelming feeling of isolation,” journalist Zeinab Mohammed Salih wrote in a BBC dispatch this week. “Not only are the demonstrators no longer able to gather, but they have found it difficult to communicate and share their disappointment, frustration and anger at the turn of events.”
The junta’s de facto leader is Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who’s also known as Hemeti. Hamdan is no would-be democrat — he’s the head of the RSF, which, before being rebranded, rampaged through Darfur as the infamous Janjaweed militia. Now, as Declan Walsh of the New York Times reported, Hamdan is trying to present himself as a savior. Over the weekend, he took an armed convoy to a rally 40 miles outside the capital, where supporters greeted him with chants celebrating army rule.
“If I did not come to this position, the country would be lost,” Hamdan told the Times, denying responsibility for the slaughter of protesters while also blaming the opposition for goading security forces. “People say Hemeti is too powerful and evil,” he added. “But it’s just scaremongering. My power comes from the Sudanese people.”
In public remarks, Hamdan has panned the protesters and appeared to renege on earlier deals made between the junta — known as the Transitional Military Council — and the main opposition groups. A central sticking point remains the composition of a transitional legislative body that would eventually pave the way for fresh elections. Activists fear Hamdan and Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the more senior face of the junta, may move to appoint a parallel body and further erode what hope there is for a civilian-led democracy. Ethiopian attempts to broker a way forward appear to have made little headway.
“There is a total impasse. The negotiations have been suspended, Internet services remain blocked, and the Ethiopian mediations apparently did not make progress,” Dura Gambo, an activist with the Sudanese Professionals Association, the lead protest group, told the Associated Press. Despite the violence, the opposition is planning on reviving its campaign with nighttime vigils and marches in the country’s cities.
International pressure is slowly mounting on the junta. Western governments are demanding it account for the killings this month. “We believe very strongly there has to be an independent, credible investigation to figure out what exactly happened, why it happened, who gave the orders, how many victims there were,” U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Tibor Nagy told journalists in Ethiopia last week.
“It is clear that the responsibility lies with the Transitional Military Council (TMC) as the authority in charge of protecting the population,” a group of European Union foreign ministers said in a statement on Monday, which hailed the “historic opportunity” posed by the protest movement and added to the calls for an independent investigation.
Hamdan and his allies have so far rebuffed those demands. In their camp are a conspicuous crop of Arab autocracies — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. The two Gulf monarchies, in particular, are invested in preserving the military regime; Hamdan recently visited Riyadh and met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are instead driven by their own fear that should a major Arab country transition to democracy, it would lead to upheavals at home,” Iyad El-Bagdhadi, an Arab pro-democracy activist, wrote earlier this month. He added that “as long as the military junta has political and financial support from the Saudis and the Emiratis, it will have little reason to back down.”
That’s all the more galling when set against the horrors associated with Hamdan’s career. Niemat Ahmadi, the founder of the Washington-based Darfur Women Action Group, described Hamdan to Today’s WorldView as a “bandit” who gained notoriety amid Bashir’s vicious response to the rebellion in Darfur. The lack of real justice for the government’s actions in Darfur, she argued, underlies what’s happening now.
“The reason Hemeti grew prominent was because of the people he killed, the number of villages he destroyed, the many women who were raped,” Ahmadi said. “Now, they repeated whatever they did in Darfur in Khartoum.”
She said that “the TMC was not as confident until Saudi [Arabia] and [the] UAE came into play,” referring to the assurances of support and billions in promised security aid that Hamdan and Burhan procured after removing Bashir.
The two gulf powers may be offering him some lessons in messaging too. In his interview with the Times, Hamdan was unapologetic, styling his forces as the guarantors of national stability — a mantra often preached in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. “The country needs the Rapid Support Forces more than the Rapid Support Forces need the country,” he said.
Sudan opposition leader Yasir Arman arrived in Juba, South Sudan on Monday after he was released together with two other rebel leaders by the military junta.
Mr. Arman is the deputy chairperson of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/ Army- North (SPLM/A/N), an armed faction based in the Blue Nile region.
He had been arrested on June 5 by the Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) for allegedly fuelling protests in the crisis-hit country.
He had earlier defied a military ultimatum that he leaves the country on accusations that he was positioning himself to become the President of Sudan with the help of foreign financiers.
The rebel leader was accused of enjoying foreign backing and positioning himself to become the President of the Sudan. The release of the trio – the others are Ismail Jalab and Mubarak Ardol – is believed to have been negotiated by Ethiopian premier Ahmed Abiy who was on a reconciliation mission in Khartoum last week.
Mr Abiy met TMC, Alliance for Freedom and Change and other political leaders with a message that Sudan reverts to democratic rule.
Jalab and Ardol were detained from their residences after meeting with Mr Abiy Ahmed in Khartoum on Friday for talks aimed at reviving negotiations between the generals and protest leaders.
Arman arrived in Khartoum on May 26 to take part in talks with Sudan’s ruling generals who took power after the ouster of president Omar al-Bashir in April following months of mass protests against his authoritarian rule and worsening economic conditions.
On June 3 military forces raided a sit-in outside the army headquarters in Khartoum, starting a week of violent crackdown that has officially left 61 dead, 49 of them from live ammunition.
The protesters put the toll at 118. The SPLM-N’s armed wing has battled Bashir’s forces in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states since 2011.
The rebel group is part of the Alliance for Freedom and Change. It had set Arman’s release as one of several conditions before any fresh negotiations with the generals could begin. The protest movement wants the ruling military council to hand over power to a civilian-led administration.
The protesters started a nationwide civil disobedience campaign on Sunday, paralysing transport and shutting down cities like Omdurman, al-Obeid and Port Sudan.
In the capital Khartoum, however, several shops and fuel stations opened and buses ran on Monday, the second day of disobedience. The health ministry says 61 people died nationwide in last week’s crackdown, 49 of them from “live ammunition” in Khartoum.
Sudan’s alliance of opposition and protest groups said on Monday that it would push ahead with a general two-day strike starting on Tuesday hours after the Transitional Military Council said it was ready to hand over power swiftly.
Deputy head of the TMC, Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, commonly known as “Hemedti”, added however that the opposition was not being serious about sharing power and wanted to confine the military to a ceremonial role.
“By God, their slogans cheated us. I swear we were honest with them 100 percent,” Hemedti said at a dinner with police. “That’s why, by God Almighty, we will not hand this country except to safe hands.”
Talks between the TMC and the Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces (DFCF) alliance are at a standstill after weeks of negotiations over who will have the upper hand after the ouster of long-time President Omar al-Bashir last month, civilians or the military.
Wagdy Saleh, a representative of a coalition within the DFCF, told a news conference called by the alliance that the TMC had demanded a two-thirds majority, of eight to three, on the sovereign council that will lead the country.
Hemedti said the military council respects many members of the opposition movement, including Sadiq al-Mahdi, who heads the Umma Party that is part of the alliance.
Mahdi rejected the strike on Sunday.
However, his son, Al-Sadeeq Sadiq al-Mahdi, told Al Arabiya TV after Hemedti’s remarks: “Our stated position is not a rejection of the principle of strike, but our logic is that there is no need to escalate now.”
The TMC has suggested that if an agreement cannot be reached between the two sides, elections should be held.
“We are not saying we will not negotiate,” Hemedti said. “But we have to guarantee that all the Sudanese people are participating in the matter.”
“We do not cheat, nor do we want power,” Hemedti said, adding that elections could be held in as little as three months in order to “…choose a government from the Sudanese people.”
Mubarak Ardol, who represents the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, said at the news conference that it was essential to have an accurate and transparent census before elections can be held because millions of Sudanese remain displaced or refugees and would therefore be excluded.
“Elections cannot be held in the current situation,” Ardol said.
The DFCF said Tuesday’s strike would encompass public and private enterprise, including the civil aviation, railway, petroleum, banking, communications and health sectors.
If an agreement is not reached with the TMC, the DFCF will escalate by calling for an open strike and indefinite civil disobedience until power is handed to civilians, Saleh said.
The military ousted and detained Bashir on April 11, ending his 30-year rule after 16 weeks of street protests against him spearheaded by the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, part of the DFCF.
Hemedti said on Monday: “These people’s goal is for us to hand over to them and return to our barracks.”
May 21, 2019 (KHARTOUM) – Security guards of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) prevented the Sudanese police from entering the house of Salah Gosh, the former director-general of the agency, following an arrest warrant.
The Public Prosecutors Club said in a statement Tuesday that the incident took place on Monday 20 May 2019 following a warrant for Gosh’s arrest and search of his house issued by the prosecution after a criminal case before the anti-corruption agency.
The force charged with guarding Gosh house, belonging to the NISS, refused the enforcement of the order and claimed that it had not been received such instructions. Further they “resisted the execution of the warrant and threatened to use the firearm.”
Gosh’s arrest warrant was issued to interrogate him on a banking account of 46 billion Sudanese pounds ($ 1 billion) of which he was the only one to be empowered to issue payment orders.
Gosh was a member of the military council that ousted al-Bashir in April, but he resigned immediately after the takeover.
Recently the Council spokesperson said the former NISS director had been placed under house arrest in Khartoum.
But news reports published in Khartoum on Monday said he is currently outside the country. He reportedly was in Washington before to head to the United Arab Emirates.
Al-Youm Altali newspaper said that during his visit to Washington he met with officials of the U.S. intelligence agency brief them about the situation in Sudan.
The Prosecutors condemned the behaviour of the guards of Gosh’s house and described it as a blatant violation of “the law and the sovereignty of the state by the forces of the National Intelligence and Security Services.”
They further called to dismiss the current NISS head and to restructure the agency, as well as “investigating this incident that affects the independence of the public prosecution.”
By The Associated Press KHARTOUM, Sudan — May 23, 2019, 6:52 AM ET
Sudan’s protest leaders are calling for mass rallies across the country amid deadlocked negotiations with the ruling military over its handover of power.
The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which has spearheaded four months of protests that drove Omar al-Bashir from power in April, says it’s also calling for a “million man march” outside the military headquarters in Khartoum.
Thursday’s statement, posted on Facebook, says the protesters want to denounce the ruling generals’ resistance to relinquish power to a sovereign council that both side had already agreed should lead the country during the transitional period.
There are also indications that the SPA, a union umbrella, may call for a general strike.The two sides have held several rounds of talks since the military overthrew al-Bashir on April 11, ending his 30-year reign.
General Mohamed Hamdan Dagal. Picture: REUTERS/MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH
22 May 2019 – 17:50 Amina Ismail
Cairo — Sudan’s military wants to hand power to a democratically elected government as soon as possible in the tumultuous aftermath of former president Omar al-Bashir’s overthrow, a prominent general said in an interview published on Wednesday.
“We got tired. We want to hand over power today not tomorrow,” Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy leader of the ruling military council, told Egypt’s state newspaper Al-Ahram.
The council has been locked in talks with an alliance of protest and opposition groups demanding civilian leadership for a new sovereign body to oversee a three-year transition to democracy. Talks were adjourned in the early hours of Tuesday, with no new date set for their resumption.
But Dagalo, who is widely known as Hemedti and leads Sudan’s feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), said the military were impatient for a solution. “Members of the military council are not politicians and we are waiting for the government to be formed,” he said.
The general, who has emerged as the most prominent member of the military council that ousted and arrested Bashir following months of protests, added that judicial proceedings against the detained former president and some allies were proceeding.
“Up to now, we have arrested 25 member of the regime figures and we are preparing the files for their charges,” he said.
On Tuesday, Sudan’s main protest group — the Sudanese Professionals Association — called for a general strike, saying the military was still insisting on directing the transition and keeping a military majority on the council.
Late on Tuesday, a clip of Dagalo suggesting that those who go on strike could lose their jobs was widely circulated on social media. In response, protesters posted photos posing and carrying signs saying “Hemedti, come and fire me!”
Some protesters accused Dagalo’s RSF of shooting at demonstrations last week, when several protesters were killed and dozens more wounded. The military has denied it. Reuters